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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Packers-Seahawks Analysis

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I think we can say Aaron Rodgers is ready for the regular season.  Even without Donald Driver, Rodgers looked crisp in guiding the Packers to two scoring drives in 18 plays of work.  Jermichael Finley continues to earn the preseason hype with four catches in limited action and over the course of four quarters Finley could do plenty of damage in the regular season.

 

On defense it wasn't quite the same story as the number one defense was depleted without Nick Barnett, Charles Woodson and Al Harris.  This set up a couple of problems.  First, linebacker depth was dangerously thin so the pass rush was simply not going to be there.  Second, without the number one corners the Packers had to lean heavily on secondary depth.  I've said a number of times that depth is the difference between playoff and non-playoff teams.  Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck was given ample time and receivers Mike Williams and TJ Houschmandzadeh got plenty of separation.  It looked a lot like those late season losses to Pittsburgh and Arizona in 2009 when the Packers were incredibly thin in the secondary.  It's clear that depth will be a liability in the defensive backfield.

 

What can you say about special teams?  The Packers are still searching for the right combination in the return department.  Sam Shields has no business returning punts or kickoffs after Saturday night though Brandon Jackson and Jordy Nelson put up nice numbers on kick returns.  Kickoff coverage is still an issue as Seattle got good field position throughout the night, including starting one drive at Green Bay's 49 and another at their own 38.  But it wasn't all bad.  There was nervousness surrounding Mason Crosby but Crosby should have assuaged those fears with field goals of 34 and 51 yards.

 

This was a good night for guys on the fence to make a case for why they should make the roster.  Unfortunately, not everyone took advantage.  It appeared Quinn Porter had a great chance to earn a roster spot but an ankle injury put an end to that after a mediocre night.  Brett Swain pulled in a couple of catches and should be in line to get the number five receiver spot.  Shields muffed the kickoff return but did pull off an interception late in the fourth quarter.  It's hard to overlook his return problems because if you can excel on special teams you'll always find a a spot on an NFL roster.  Brandon Jackson had a big night but remember most of his work came against the second and third teamers.

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